• This is a sequel to The ugly language of politics, published in November.
    It endeavours to unpick and describe the many variants of what I have
    named Polliespeak, the language that politicians use. Sometimes it’s ugly,
    sometimes it’s simply irritating.
  • ETS / GILLARD / MARRIAGE EQUALITY
    Tony Abbott has been on the way down for years. His time in the sun began unexpectedly on the 1st of December 2009 when he became Leader of the Opposition after toppling Malcolm Turnbull in a spill brought about by Turnbull’s support for Kevin Rudd.
  • TRUTH / FAKE NEWS / LIES / TIRADES
    It was with some trepidation that I embarked upon this piece. Language is complex. Embedded in the language we use is a constellation of concepts, ideas, beliefs, facts, prejudices, and biases. Teasing out these elements is a formidable task.
  • kenburns6
    You might have heard of an aircraft manufacturer named Boeing.
  • What thought do we, who curl up in a warm bed after a good meal
    and an evening watching our favourite TV shows in the comfort of
    our homes, give to those who have no home, or worse still, nowhere
    to sleep? How aware are we of the extent of homelessness in our own country?
  • CRIME / REPORTING / ALGORITHMS / COMMUNICATION
    A few weeks ago, there was another mass murder in the USA. This time, the shooter, a 64 year old male, holed himself up on the 32rd floor of a casino hotel complex in Las Vegas, Nevada and massacred 60 including himself (at the time of writing).

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

What’s wrong with PM Turnbull?

As a weary electorate approaches yet another holiday season, looks back over the year and asks: ‘How has our federal government improved life for ordinary Aussies’, the answer is depressing. Our self-styled ‘adult government’ has achieved so little for so long. We have had to endure indecision, p...

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Football, meat pies, kangaroos and political storms

Last weekend, we saw the grand finals for both the Australian Football League (AFL) and the National Rugby League (NRL). Coincidently it was also a long weekend in the Eastern States which probably allowed those with a particular allegiance to return to some semblance of normality before they had to...

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The enduring blight of inequality

How much longer are we prepared to accept the level of inequality that exists in the world? How much longer are we prepared to accept the level of inequality we now suffer in this country? If any reader out there still doubts the extent of inequality here, do read a July 8 article in The Conv...

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Power to the people

Technically it would be harder to have a hot potato issue without electricity. Amongst other things, electricity makes it far easier to create the hot potato in the first place, as well as light, heating and cooling, traffic control, transport and giving you the ability to read this article. Howev...

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Who thought Trump couldn’t get worse?

Just when we thought Trump couldn’t possibly get worse, he has. Almost every day he exhibits more grotesque behaviour. It astonishes his colleagues, the media, the US electorate, world leaders, and indeed the entire world. Back in May The Political Sword published America – what have you done?, w...

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Hurricanes. Floods. Droughts. Why is it so?

To some, the question: 'Hurricanes. Floods. Droughts. Why is it so?' is nonsensical. There have been hurricanes, floods and droughts since time immemorial. “It’s just nature at work” they say. They quote Dorothea Mackellar to ‘prove’ their point. To them, what climate scientists have to say is irrel...

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When you’re in a hole, stop digging

In the next week or so, we’re all supposedly getting a letter from the Australian Bureau of Statistics so we can (if we choose) ‘advise’ our Parliamentarians how to vote on the issue of same sex marriage. Be still my beating heart!  Why do we have to advise the Parliament on how we want them...

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Mal’s Coalition cascades into chaos

When we posted How are the ‘adults’ managing our economy? on The Political Sword in April it seemed as if Turnbull’s administration of his Coalition couldn’t get any worse. We were wide of the mark! Now he sits apprehensively and indecisively on his house of cards, on tenterhooks lest he lose h...

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Where’s your daddy from?

In winter 2017, the latest fashion in Australian Federal politics seems to be having dual citizenship. At the time of writing, there are six members of the current Parliament who have been referred to the High Court to determine, amongst other things, if they were ever validly elected. Potentially, ...

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Are algorithms ruling your world?

A year or two ago, how many would have known what the word algorithm meant? Now it is a word in common use. It crops up whenever automation or artificial intelligence is mentioned.  The term ‘automation’ once conjured up images of robots doing manual tasks; now it encompasses intellectual o...

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Dutton for PM – no thanks

If the conservative ideologues get their way, Peter Dutton could be Prime Minister within a few months. If Dutton became Prime Minister, he would be the eighth person to be Prime Minister with double letters in his last name. For the record, if you get asked the question at a trivia night, the other...

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Inequality amblyopia

Inequality amblyopia is a condition affecting some conservatives, who simply cannot see inequality when looking directly at it. The facts and figures that convince objective observers that there is increasing inequality in our nation, are simply not visible to them.    As in child...

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Dog whistling in the park

It could be said that Senator Pauline Hanson and the other One Nation senators have ridden the coat tails of racism and bigotry to reach the lofty heights of the Red Chamber on Capital Hill in Canberra. Hanson will tell you that she sincerely holds those views and while it demonstrates her ignorance...

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Is Donald Trump mad?

No, I don’t mean ‘hopping mad’. We know that he is hopping mad with the media and its ‘fake news’, with CNN particularly, and with some of its commentators whom he has chosen to label as intellectually deficient, and unpleasant to the eyes (bleeding from a face lift!). We know he is hopping mad a...

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More power to you

Rather than writing another article this week about the great Abbott versus Turnbull war on ideology, causing your and my excitement level to maybe rise sharply and rate as ‘slightly interested’, let’s look at some positive events that are occurring right here in Australia.  Even if you have ...

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Look out for dinosaurs

Creationists will tell you that life on earth began around 6000 years ago when the good (Christian) lord decided to make a world over 6 days – because on the 7th, he rested. Other faiths and cultures also have mythical stories of how the earth was created, which probably suits the fundamentalists in...

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Climate wars all over again

Only a naive optimist could believe the contemporary rhetoric that the Finkel Review might bring the climate wars of the last decade to an end. As long as Tony Abbott lurks in the wings there will be war over climate. His whole persona is warlike, his political book is even titled Battlelines. A...

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The Coalition needs an Abbott-proof fence

If you were to ask Malcolm Turnbull to tell you honestly what was his most demanding and persistent political problem, Tony Abbott would most likely be his answer. We are well aware of the legislative issues Turnbull faces, and the exultation he exhibits when finally he achieves a success – the ...

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She said what?

Senator Hanson recently implied that children on the autistic spectrum should be shunted off to ‘special schools’. However Hanson wants to spin it, she said These kids have a right to an education, by all means, but, if there are a number of them, these children should go into a special classroo...

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Respect the culture

Representatives of our First Peoples recently gathered at Uluru to discuss potential methods for recognition within the Australian Constitution. The final document is here and really worth a read, as it is an aspirational document that should be a roadmap for the future of all Australians. Sean Kell...

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